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Emilie Bess and Kevin P. Johnson taxon links [up-->]Neurostigmatidae [up-->]Ptiloneuridae [up-->]Dolabellapsocidae [up-->]Epipsocidae [up-->]Cladiopsocidae Phylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Psocomorpha Interpreting the tree
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The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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Containing group: Psocomorpha


Infraorder Epipsocetae includes the families Cladiopsocidae, Dolabellopsocidae, Epipsocidae, and Ptiloneuridae which comprise 24 genera and about 250 species.  These species are distributed worldwide and more than half (~140 species) are described from South America.  The species Parepipsocus obscurus is included in Infraorder Epipsocetae, but to which family it belongs is uncertain.



General Characters

Family Monophyly

Monophyly of Infraorder Epipsocetae is well supported by morphological data based on the synapomorphic characters listed under Characteristics (Yoshizawa 2002).

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Molecular data support the monophyly of family Epipsocidae, but other families have not yet been included in molecular analysis (Johnson et al. 2004).


Casasola Gonzalez, J.A. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships of the genera of Epipsocetae (Psocoptera: Psocomorpha). Zootaxa 1194: 1-32.

Casasola Gonzalez, J. A. C. & A. N. Garcia Aldrete. 2002. A taxonomic revision of genus Goja (Psocoptera: Epipsocidae). Mexico City: UNAM Press.

Eertmoed, G.E. 1973. The phenetic relationships of the Epipsocetae (Psocoptera): the higher taxa and the species of two new families. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 99: 373–414.

Garcia Aldrete, A.N. 2003. New species of Loneura (Ptiloneuridae: Psocoptera), from Argentina, Nicaragua and Mexico. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Zoología 74(1): 11-19.

Garcia Aldrete, A.N. 2004. New species of Loneura (Psocoptera: Ptiloneuridae), from Venezuela and Nicaragua. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Zoología 75(1): 143-148.

Johnson, K. P. & E. L. Mockford. 2003. Molecular Systematics of Psocomorpha (Psocoptera). Systematic Entomology 28: 409-40.

Johnson, K. P., K. Yoshizawa, and V. S. Smith. 2004. Multiple origins of parasitism in lice. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 271:1771-1776.

Lienhard, C. and C. N Smithers. 2002. Psocoptera (Insecta) World Catalogue and Bibliography. Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Geneva, Switzerland.

Mockford, E. L. 1998. Generic definitions and species assignments in he Family Epipsocidae (Psocoptera). Insecta Mundi 12: 81-91.

Mockford, E. L. 1993. North American Psocoptera (Insecta). Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, Florida.

Smithers, C.N. 1972. The classification and phylogeny of the Psocoptera. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 14: 1–349.

Smithers, C. N. 1996. Psocoptera. Pp. 1-80, 363-372 (Index) in Wells A. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 26. Psocoptera, Phthiraptera, Thysanoptera. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia.

Yoshizawa, K. 2002. Phylogeny and higher classification of suborder Psocomorpha (Insecta: Psocodea:'Psocoptera'). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 136: 371-400.

About This Page

Emilie Bess
Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Kevin P. Johnson
Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Emilie Bess at and Kevin P. Johnson at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Bess, Emilie and Kevin P. Johnson. 2009. Epipsocetae. Version 25 March 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Epipsocetae/30255/2009.03.25 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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